Book profits donated as a fond tribute
A CHILDREN'S author who dedicated her first book to an 11-year-old terminal cancer sufferer has donated its royalties to charity.
Nicky Allis published her first children's book, Dilys and the Chocolate Egg, in 2010.
The Lovington School teaching assistant first read the story, centred on her pet dog Dilys, to pupil James Hurst, who died of cancer in 2010.
The book is dedicated to James, whose family now live in Compton Dundon.
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Mrs Allis has donated the book's first royalty cheque of £50 to CLIC Sargent in memory of the "popular" youngster.
She said: "When James was very poorly I typed up the book and he absolutely loved it.
"His mother, Sadie, read it to him and he really enjoyed learning about Dilys' adventures. He absolutely loved animals.
"The nurses at CLIC Sargent offered such great support to James and his family, as well as staff and students at the school, while he was ill.
"Their support was phenomenal. He was a very popular boy and such a character."
After writing poetry for much of her life, Mrs Allis has now turned her attention to writing stories for children.
She is hoping to write two sequels to her Dilys series later this year.
"By working in a school and enjoying children's books myself, I have gained an insight into what kind of things young people like to read," said Mrs Allis.
"I love writing and playing with words. The ideas behind my writing are usually from things I have seen or that have happened.
"Dilys really did eat an egg, and although it was a lot more traumatic at the time, the idea stuck with me.
"The children at Lovington have all met Dilys, which is why I think they especially enjoy it. I think it helps to inspire them and encourage them to write too."
Since James' death, an outdoor shelter at Lovington School has been named after him.
His family also created a prayer corner in the "peace garden" at North Cadbury Primary School, where he also attended classes.
Last year, Mrs Hurst released a book about her experience coping with James' ordeal.
Mummy, I Can't Wait To Go To Heaven is available at www.sadiehurst.com or on 01458 272508.